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Can safe driving policies reduce deaths in the oil and gas industry?

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Washington — Risky driving behaviors are more common among oil and gas extraction workers whose employers don’t have a motor vehicle safety policy, NIOSH researchers say.

The researchers surveyed 363 OGE workers in three states who drive for work. Results show that 59.8% of respondents reported using a hands-free phone while driving. However, a workplace ban on this use was the least commonly reported employer intervention for motor vehicle safety, at 34.7%.

Speeding and talking on a handheld phone were other common risky driving behaviors.

The researchers note that the survey results “support the implementation of motor vehicle safety interventions such as bans on texting and handheld and hands-free cellphone use, speed management, and in-vehicle monitoring systems by OGE employers, as well as research focusing on the effectiveness of these interventions in OGE.”

Citing Bureau of Labor Statistics data, NIOSH says motor vehicle crashes contributed to 55% of fatal work-related injuries in the OGE industry in 2019.

The study was published online in the National Safety Council’s Journal of Safety Research.

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